Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly. What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian. Don’t stop reading here. This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber. What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom. Smith is the teaching pastor of The City Church, a megachurch in Seattle. His wife and mother, who started the church with her late husband, are two of several City Church pastrixes. I should point out that it is unbiblical for women to be pastors and elders.
The late Ken Silva, Christian apologist and owner of Apprising Ministries, once called Judah Smith a “charismatic quasi-prosperity preacher.” If you’re unfamiliar with the Word of Faith/prosperity gospel (name-it-and-claim-it), it is outright heresy. Some readers will likely disagree with me on this and may even think I’m being too harsh. So I urge you to do as the Bereans did by going to the Word of God to see if what I say is true. (1 John 4:1)
A few years ago when Pastor Smith was first becoming a rising star, Ken Silva produced a short video showing him addressing a crowd of 60,000 young people under the age of twenty-five at the 2013 Passion Conference. While the founder of Passion, Louis Giglio, looked on, Smith paraded around the stage abusing the Lord’s Name. Yes, a “pastor” chose to use OMG five times. (See the video below) Perhaps he did it for shock value. Or maybe he uses the Lord’s Name in vain all the time and didn’t realize he was saying what he said. Regardless, when it comes to the clergy, neither of these reasons holds water.
Smith certainly knows the Bible warns about the power of words. He’s also aware that the Christian’s role is to glorify God. I mean, that’s what the Passion Conference is all about. According to its website, “Passion exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation.”
Did Smith think that using the Lord’s Name in this way would glorify God? Probably not. I rather suspect he’s aware that Christians have a responsibility to watch how we speak. One can only conclude that he doesn’t think Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…” applies to him.
Christian News Network reports:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated a same-sex “wedding” last weekend as the nation’s high court deliberates a monumental case that will decide states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.
Ginsburg wore her traditional black robe and lace collar as she presided over the ceremony of Michael Kahn and Charles Mitchem. According to reports, Ginsburg put an emphasis on the word “Constitution” as she declared that she was uniting them under the “powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.”
According to John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire, the apostate New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement has infiltrated the Assemblies of God (AG), a Pentecostal Christian denomination. Lanagan fills us in on the E21 event that is currently going on in Jerusalem. NAR “prophetess” Cindy Jacobs “was not only a featured speaker … at the Amman, Jordan event, but is the co-chair of the Jerusalem2015 Prophecy and The End Times Ministry Track.”
A few comments, observations, and a question or two for Assemblies of God General Superintendent George Wood and his E21 co-chair, Billy Wilson of Oral Roberts University:
Sit under the teaching, gifting, and anointing of the world’s top Spirit-empowered pastors, leaders, and teachers. –E21 promotional for Jerusalem 2015 event 
In the past few years we have seen a dilution of biblical doctrine occurring throughout the Body of Christ. Now, it seems anything called “Jesus”—The Shack and Jesus Calling come to mind—is welcomed without question by huge numbers of Christians.
Is the same thing happening in terms of the Holy Spirit? Are increasing numbers in the visible church beginning to place less emphasis on doctrine in order to facilitate Spirit-empowered unity?
This brings us to the Empowered21 organization:
12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” John 2:12-16 NASB
Some today have made a caricature of our Lord Jesus Christ. This man-made image is far from the truth we see in Sacred Scripture. There have been some who have even portrayed the Bible as revealing two separate “Gods,” the mean, angry God of the Old Testament, and the kind, gentle Jesus of the New Testament. The former is an image contrived by those who resent God’s commands for holiness and righteousness while the latter is vastly incomplete and derived by those who are either ignorant of what the New Testament teaches about our Lord or they are deliberately ignoring what it says.
My Word Like Fire reports:
New Apostolic Reformation figures will be introduced to many via live streaming of Empowered21’s Jerusalem 2015 Conference (May 20-25). There is no warning to viewers just how different NAR theology is from biblical Christianity. Cindy Jacobs was recently featured here in this video where she claimed “God showed” her The Lord’s Prayer is really about Dominionism: click
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Now, she is about to be given access to many through Empowerment21. Below is the E21 Ministry Track information about Prophecy And The End Times Ministry Track co-chair Cindy Jacobs.
According to Berean Research:
This piece is posted on USA Today. The actual headline reads “Antigay pastor resigns after outed on Grindr.” There’s nothing in the article that comes close to showing that Matthew Makela is antigay. The writer quotes him as saying that he supports biblical marriage. Apparently USA Today would like its readers to think that anyone who supports biblical marriage is antigay. No, we’re “probible” and those who reject the Bible’s teaching are “antichrists.”
What this story’s about is a man who fell into sin and what it cost his family.
According to Market Watch columnist Jurica Dujmovic, “Project Elysium, made by a couple of gaming geeks, aims to help people cope with the loss of family and friends.” The “game”the geeks came up with is steeped in the occult, thus Bible believing Christians must have nothing to do with it or any “game” like it — not even if it’s “just for fun.”
Communing with deceased loved ones usually involves a visit to the graveyard. Project Elysium, by Paranormal Games, is attempting to turn the experience into a 3D virtual-reality simulation.
In piece over at truthXchange, noted Bible scholar Peter Jones reveals what he believes are the reasons the evangelical movement is in theological crisis mode right now. Dr. Jones informs us that in April 2015, 1,300 Christian leaders sat through teaching by “Q” founder David Gushee and homosexual activist and professing Christian Matthew Vines defending the “Christian Gay” movement. One of his concerns is that, “publicly airing the issue, in such an important “Evangelical” forum, in a cool kind of way [which is what was done] … may indeed bestow a certain legitimacy on such a biblically unsupportable position and thus threaten the on-going health of Christian orthodoxy.”
8 καὶ ὁ καρδιογνώστης θεὸς ἐμαρτύρησεν αὐτοῖς δοὺς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον καθὼς καὶ ἡμῖν 9 καὶ οὐθὲν διέκρινεν μεταξὺ ἡμῶν τε καὶ αὐτῶν τῇ πίστει καθαρίσας τὰς καρδίας αὐτῶν. (Acts 15:8-9 NA28)
8 And the knower of hearts, God, bore witness to them having given to them the Holy Spirit just as to us, 9 and He differentiated nothing between them, and us having cleansed their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:8-9 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
God is omniscient, which means that He knows all things. What is puzzling to me at times is that so many who profess to be Christians either do not understand what this really means or, their hearts are so hard in their unbelief that the “god” of their “faith” is one of their own making, hence, they live and “do their religion” in ways that are “of the world” and in no way could be called Biblical Christianity. Within that paradigm are all forms of man-focused religiosity that came into being, at least in the U.S., about the time of the Second Great Awakening. It was at that time that preaching the Gospel, coming together as a local body of believers to worship, pray together, and hear the Word of God opened and rightly divided was hijacked and made to be seen as something “old fashioned” or “boring.” Instead, so-called Christian leaders sought the tent revivals and continual crusade atmosphere that was much more conducive to large numbers of “conversions.” Forget the fact that very few of those “conversions” actually “stuck.”
According to ChristianExaminer:
In the Northwest Arkansas seat of Walmart’s home office, a company lawyer has engaged the local school board in the gender identity/sexual orientation debate in a way that Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver said in a letter could mean more that what appears on the surface. The school board is considering adding clauses to its nondiscrimination policy – but according to a local news report will await the Supreme Court’s announcement on same sex marriage next month. So, when the Supreme Court announces it decision on marriage next month, not only will it define marriage, “it will affect how children as young as kindergartners are taught, how Christian businesses are run, and even whom churches and Christian schools can hire,” Liberty Counsel said in a news release.
7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:7-8 NASB
Relativism is the fatal disease of the unregenerate heart. Obviously, it is a self-focused relativism. Everyone is unique, but we have this built-in sense of ‘fairness’ that is antithetical to God’s Sovereignty. Several years ago, before our brother Ken Silva died, he came under attack from some “emergence boyz” in a satirical article portraying him killing a beast on the beach. The creature was called an EvanJellyFish. Ken killed it even though every now and then the beast said something that might be considered edifying. Ah, now we are back in that comfortable realm of relativism. It goes something like this, “Hey man, why are you attacking this brother in Christ? Look, he may practice Yoga and Contemplative Prayer and lead his congregation to pray to Mother God, but hey, look at all the edifying and nice things he says in this book he just wrote!” Is this ancient history? Just a few days ago I was on Facebook and was reading a post about Rick Warren. I was reading some of the comments then, BOOM, out of nowhere there was a very angry commenter descending from a cloud of self-righteousness condemning everyone who dared say anything negative about Rick Warren. Oh sure he had issues and said some heretical things here and there and was buddying up with the Pope, but hey, look at his terrific Daniel Plan… That my brothers and sisters in Christ are the words of someone who thinks that the truth is truth because they think it is, but they do not know the words of God, the truth, because they do not hear them (John 8:46).
According to ChristianExaminer:
The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, which selects and trains missionaries for the denomination and has more than 4,700 field personnel under appointment, has changed its personnel qualifications to allow “new pathways” for service to those who previously could not be assigned to long-term overseas posts, Baptist Press, the convention’s news agency, has reported.
David Platt, elected IMB president in August 2014, told the mission board’s trustees earlier this week that the organization’s changes to its appointment policy represent a new “unified statement of qualifications” that will apply to all new applicants.
“We’re talking about limitless possibilities that God has providentially arranged for His people to go around the world with the gospel. And as the IMB, we want to send Southern Baptists through as many pathways as possible, which necessitates that we open up the pipeline for people to come through those pathways,” Platt said, according to Baptist Press.
According to Berean Research:
Federal prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss the remaining criminal charges against an imprisoned creation science evangelist after a jury deadlocked on the matter and was not convinced of his guilt.
As previously reported, Kent Hovind, the founder of Creation Science Evangelism out of Pensacola, Florida, has been fighting charges of mail fraud and contempt for contesting liens against a number of properties that had been seized by the government several years ago.
On Sunday Pope Francis decided to canonize two nuns who lived in Palestine for reasons you’ll discover in the Associated Press piece which we will link to. Evidently these women were examples of “mercy, charity and reconciliation” which means they were “good people.” To canonize someone is to make him/her a saint. The article revealed that one of the sisters was not only a good person, she “is said to have received the “stigmata” – bleeding wounds like those that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross.” Since CRN routinely covers Catholic mysticism it came as no surprise that one of the nuns was a mystic — many Catholic clergy engage in mysticism. But what needs to be addressed here is Rome’s belief that their pope’s have the authority to declare people saints. This is untrue, as the Bible is clear that all born again Christians are saints. Following are just three examples:
Acts 9:32: “Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.”
Romans 16:15: “Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.”
1 Corinthians 1:2: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours…”
So as you can see, Scripture clearly teaches that a saint is anyone who has put his/her faith in Jesus Christ.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:5-7 NASB
Several years ago Rick Warren made the follow statements in a tweet that he claimed were from his sermon that day:
“To change ask: WHERE am I now? WHAT do I want? WHY do I want it? WHY don’t I have it already? WHAT’s my plan? Is it worth it?”
Every time I come across this it is like my spirit is startled and I ask, “really?” What or who is the focus of these questions? It is self isn’t it? I have another question for you. Do you see any need for Christ and the Cross or repentance with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit in any of that? Again, this is just another example of the natural outflow from one whose theology is Pelagian. Rick Warren and his disciples discount the Cross of Christ and the Gospel and put the person at the center of all things. This is why they continually insist that their disciples look within to find their true self while covenanting with them to keep certain values and obey their commitments. In other words, this is a form of law keeping and has nothing to do with grace nor the Gospel. Let’s look at what the Bible says about our true nature and what we can and cannot do as Christians.
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self- control, and in your self- control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short- sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. 2 Peter 1:3-11 NASB
In the visible church in our time one of the key terms that we are hearing and seeing everywhere is rooted in the word “transform.” Rick Warren likes to say that his church is responsible for thousands of transformed lives for instance. In the incarnation/missional/dominionistic push right now we are seeing some call their particular flavor of that “transformational.” This word is a good biblical word. For instance, in Romans 12:2 we have Paul saying, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The words “be transformed” are translated from the Greek word μεταμορφοῦσθε. Paul used this word to describe God’s process of the Christian being transformed by the renewing of their minds. That is, Christ has come to give us a new way of thinking, which is not legalistically following a fixed set of rules and regulations, but desiring to serve Jesus with all our heart and mind. It is this transformation that produces true godliness that cannot be faked and is a mystery to those outside of God’s grace. Is this the same thing that is being described by Rick Warren and the Dominionists?
Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, reports that America’s public schools are teaching our children that sexuality is a “broader spectrum.”
One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum – the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.
Fairfax County Public Schools released a report recommending changes to their family life curriculum for grades 7 through 12. The changes, which critics call radical gender ideology, will be formally introduced next week.
There’s a must watch video over at My Word Like Fire that shows Tim Keller’s fascination with Catholic mysticism.
In a 2014 interview, Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church noted that Puritan John Owen was “down on Catholic mysticism and down on an awful lot of the ways in which evangelicals are trying to bring in Catholic contemplative prayer practices.”  Keller also stated, “Most books I know that are critical of contemplative prayer, as I am…”  (bold mine)
Wait a minute. As he is?
Keller himself has advocated Catholic contemplative prayer practices. Here on YouTube Keller promotes Catholic mystic Teresa of Avila…
John Lanagan shared a video on My Word Like Fire of New Apostolic Reformation “Prophet” Cindy Jacobs teaching on the Lord’s Prayer. We’re posting the video and Lanagan’s comments so that visitors to CRN will understand why we have said all along that the NAR is a dangerous movement within Christendom.
Did you know The Lord’s Prayer is really about transforming nations? Did you know sin came into the world because we didn’t understand our Dominionist commission? Neither did I.
So you see, this is exactly why we need the leadership (?) of New Apostolic Reformation prophets like Cindy Jacobs. Please pardon my sarcasm.
27 seconds into the video: “…and God showed me [The Lord’s Prayer] was a prayer and every part of the prayer is an element on how to reform and transform a nation.”
53 seconds into the video: The Lord’s Prayer “is the prayer of intercession that will help bring into manifestation the original Genesis Mandate to fill, subdue, multiply and have dominion in the earth.”
1:24 seconds into the video: “This was our commission in the Garden and it never changed…because we didn’t understand our commission sin came into the world and it began to deteriorate the ability we had to steward the earth.”
2:55 seconds into the video: “So we have authority to reverse the Genesis curse of poverty and death. Not only do we have the power to do so, we have the mandate. You have to understand this.”
The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
According to Christian News Network:
The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would protect pastors from legal action if they refuse to officiate same-sex ceremonies.
Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) presented S.B. 2065, entitled “Freedom of Religion with Respect to Recognizing or Performing Certain Marriages.”
No note went home, no calls were made. Now parents in Efland, North Carolina are understandably outraged to learn that their 8 and 9-year-olds’ homosexual teacher decided to read a gay fairy tale – that the assistant principal gave him – to the youngsters.
Said one parent, “People have been gay for years. People have been lesbian for years. But why does a third-grader need to know about that?”